Brian McDermott vows Reading will bounce back strongly

Brian McDermott
McDermott believes Reading will be stronger next season

Reading manager Brian McDermott pledged his side would "come back stronger" after their Championship play-off final defeat by Swansea at Wembley on Monday.

The Royals trailed 3-0 at half-time and, although they fought back to 3-2, eventually lost 4-2 to miss out on promotion to the Premier League.

"It's very painful but what we can do now is look ahead and build for next season again," he said.

"It hurts but we'll be stronger for this and we'll move on."

Reading threatened a stunning comeback when, replying to Scott Sinclair's brace and a goal by Stephen Dobbie before the break, they reduced their arrears through a Joe Allen own goal and a Matt Mills header.

But Sinclair wrapped up the win, and completed his hat-trick, with a penalty late on as Swansea secured their return to the top flight after a 28-year absence and ended Reading's brave second-half fightback.

But McDermott was still proud of the Royals, having led them on a run of nine wins in their last 12 league matches as they surged from mid-table into the play-offs.

"I'm immensely proud," he said. "In February we were 12th or 13th but we've got into the play-offs and beaten Cardiff to come to Wembley.

"In the first half, nothing dropped for us but Swansea played very well. At 3-0 down we had a mountain to climb - and yet we were inches from getting a third goal.

"Jem Karacan hit the post [at 3-2] and if it had gone in I think we'd have gone on to win the game. I honestly believe it would have been a different result.

"I'm just really disappointed for our fans. I wish we could have got the right result for them."

McDermott did, however, tip Swansea to impress in the Premier League under Brendan Rodgers, who was sacked by Reading only 17 months ago.

"Credit Swansea - they are a good side," said McDermott. "I'm sure they'll do very well in the Premier League."